Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Friiiday

It's Friiiiday and I love this song and you should too!




Throwback Thursday: Item

Item: (n) pair of people, commonly seen as dating, or about to date
This word has a lot of meaning to me.  Why is it a throwback you ask? Two reasons, 1. it's an out dated word in my opinion which makes the next meaning even more funny & 2.  it's one of the first references my husband used in reference to us spending time together.  
I have a slew of throwbacks saved up for rainy days, such as today, when I have nothing much to write.  However, today I do have something to write about.  This afternoon I had the fortunate luck to be able to eat lunch with my spouse.  It was lovely.  He treated me to a cute little Greek place where we spent a little rare alone time.  The fare: traditional gyro and greek chicken salad.  Just the two of us, him eating a gyro sparked my memory of yesteryear.  
Now, imagine 11 years ago on a late, very late night (or very early morning) two young coeds head out to grab a bite to eat.  One orders a gyro and one a grilled cheese with tomato.  The rest of the details don't really matter, but what does matter is what he said to me.  He was about to pay for the meal and he said to me "You know, this doesn't mean we are an item." Ha!  How did I get so lucky? ;)  Guess what Einstein? Yes it does, because 11 years later, we are still eating Greek food together and you are picking up the tab (of our shared checking account!)  For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health,  until death do us part we are an item, a fabulous one :)

Revision

to my better judgement (or the judgement of others who chose to disregard #20) #1 has been revised

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

25 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I added the word 'Might' to this in case you don't know me on a most personal level, which only some of my avid readers closest friends and kin do :)
1.  Unfortunately in my adult life I have pooped my pants on 3 separate occasions
2.  I have painted toenails no less than 50 weeks a year
3.  I have slight road rage
4.  I don't leave my house without mascara
5.  My current musical obsession is Matisyahu 'One day"
6.  Coloring is therapeutic for me
7.  I love to read
8.  I wake up every day and remind myself to be positive
9.  I pack my breakfast and lunch every day
10. 3:00-3:45 pm is my me time M-F
11.  I have a love/hate relationship with mail
12.  My current non-alcoholic beverage of choice is Vitamin Water Connect. Bvitamins and caffeine woohoo!
13.  I think I am a really good singer and dancer
14.  I love photography and also think I am really good at it when I try (unlike singing and dancing which come naturally to me)
15.  I rarely eat fruits and vegetables
16.  My commute is approx. 8 minutes in the morning
17.  I drive a station wagon :)
18.  I suffer from 'organized clutter syndrome'
19.  I also suffer from delusions of grandeur when it comes to this blog
20.  Unsolicited advice is my BIGGEST pet peeve: I really don't give a flying you know what what you think if I didn't ask
21.  I usually don't come back downstairs after 8 pm
22.  I require sugar to stay alive
23.  I know a lot of Spanish
24.  I work to live, not live to work
25.  I love candles more than a devil worshiper

There you have it.  As of March 30, 2011, these are 25 things most people don't know about me.  Of course all of these could change by tomorrow, and there will certainly be more things you don't know about me compiled by next week.  You will just have to stay tuned to find them out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adventures In Chaos



Ok, I admit, I am majorly a bit obsessed with this woman. I'm also loving this cartoon; it's probably what people feel like saying when I talk to them about my blog.
I religiously read Real Simple every month, I am reading Just Let Me Lie Down in my free moments (what is that?!) and I read her blog and comment on it.  Did you ever just feel like someone was reading your mind? Or that you could be friends with that person (hello Holly Holliday!) even though you don't know them?
That's how I feel about Kristin VanOgtrop.  Here's her Real Simple Blog if you give a rat's ass.
TTFN!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes Cats Do Have Dogs

Sometimes apples do fall far from the tree.....very very far......The following pictures illustrate my frustration on a daily basis with my son who, as I mentioned before, is a certified hoarder.  I am growing more and more concerned that one of these days he is going to bury himself alive (just like TLC) and I will not find him until he is like one of those stiff, flattened cats found under some lady's decades of newspapers!
Why am I concerned? Please observe the following evidence:
Exhibit A
upon entering standing in the doorway
Exhibit B
To the right of entry
Exhibit C
View to the inside of the tent

Soooo, where did I go wrong? This was certainly not what I had in mind when I started reproducing my little band of minions.  I envisioned little angels cleaning up toys and putting them in the correct bins before taking out another toy. Oh, and without being asked.   Clearly, my plans did not go as expected.  
No, in all seriousness, I just don't get how someone could CHOOSE to live like this?  It's really incomprehendable to me.  I love organization, bins, label makers, etc.  It's like heaven.  I have to say that I have come a long way, and I allow this behavior to go on for days before I explode and go on a  tirade of cleaning.  For example, just now, my daughter picked up a goldfish from an undisclosed location on the kitchen floor and I didn't even flinch.   Luckily I married someone who is right there with me.  
I know I have a long way to go in reference to my neurosis, but knowing is half the battle, right?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cups in a Cupboard


A recent blog by someone near and dear to me sparked my memory that I had taken this picture a few weeks ago of the plethora of sippy cups in my household.  Why does one family need this many?  I often look in here and think it's time to get rid of a few, but I just can't seem to part with them.  Part of the reason we have such a large collection is that it took me a while to find anything except Munchkin brand that my daughter would tolerate.  Now she likes all of them!  Now it definitely comes in handy to have so many considering both of my kids have one for milk and one for water on a daily basis.  That's four a day.  And sometimes more if we can't find one, or if my husband or I don't know the other poured a beverage for our little cherubs.  Not to mention, there is almost always a cup being found with some kid of foulness inside of it. It's really ridiculous.  We can run the dishwasher with only sippy cups on a nightly basis.  We are not even going to venture into the cabinet with bowls and snack cups (even a Gyro Bowl).  
Please assure me that I am not the only one with gobs of kids plasticware taking over my kitchen...............

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cherry Blossoms



Today kicks off the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.  These trees are beautiful, but the make one hell of a mess.  We have a huge one in our front yard (pictured above), and every year I am so excited to see the fluffy pink blooms.  But then the rain comes and the petals stick to the soles of your shoes and get tracked into the house and if not swept up immediately stick the floor.  Nothing a little elbow grease can't handle, but most definitely irritating.
As far ads the festival in our Nation's Capital, our family has yet to participate. Pretty sad considering we have been in the D.C. Metro area for almost 10 years.  2011 will be the year.  I am insisting that we go and check it out.  I would like to see the blooms in their peak and here is the schedule for 2011.

Average Peak Bloom Date: April 4
2011 Peak Bloom Date Forecast: March 29 – April 1
2011 Blooming Period Forecast: March 26 – April 7

Oh, and festival food?  Woot! I can't seem to find any info about independent food vendors other than participating restaurants, but I hope there are some food carts along the way.  This lady needs snacks at consistent intervals, especially to deal with large crowds. 
Now I just have to convince my better half that this will be a great experience.......


**Also, I take back my Why-Reinvent the Wheel Wed. comment that I have no motivation to do anything cute, because this week we made Cherry Blossom Paintings with sequin flowers to kick off the Spring Season!  Check out my fine motor skills**



Friday, March 25, 2011

Secret Weapon Part Deux


Downy Wrinkle Releaser is a g-d send.  I LOATHE ironing.  And, I am pretty sure I have mentioned in previous posts that I am a major underachiever, at times, and always look for ways to make my life a teeny bit easier.  Plus the iron and board are two levels down, so at night, when I pick out my clothes for the next day like a good little girl, that is out of the question.  My husband and I discovered this muy fantastico product back in about 2001.  We had just moved to Alexandria together and had our first little apartment.  Now that I am thinking about it, I probably should have whipped out the old iron to impress my then boyfriend and convince him that I was marriage material.  Sadly, no, I chose to impress him with my impressive tolerance for Miller Lite and Jagermeister.  Good choice, Debs, it worked!  Ironing is so old fashioned anyway, a shot and a beer is way cooler.
Really, why iron when you can spray this magical concoction on your creased apparel, smooth, and voila......
Since then we have probably kept Downey in business and have neat, fresh smelling clothes.
Do I recommend this product? 
Totes magotes

**make sure to click the hyperlink for coupons**

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Unicorns

why, why why?

I'd rather not get into how much I loved these mythical creatures when I was a youngster and I am pretty sure this book label illustrates my passion all on it's own.   Can you say lame?
And I won't even address my horrid penmanship considering I was probably reading these chapter books in 3rd or 4th grade.  
I recently discovered this label on the inside cover of my childhood copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I read this shortly after James and the Giant Peach, LOVE!
My parents have been great at saving childhood items for my 3 siblings and me and passing them down to either my children or me to take to my classroom OR just to torture us with.  Many books have been passed down that still bear the lined paper my sister and I taped to the backs as library cards, in hopes that children from all over Springhouse Farms would check out stories from the Silverberg Library.
I have only found one book with a friend's name in it.  
Oh well, we were not destined to be librarians. And I was not destined to earn a degree in Mythological Studies.  What I am destined to do is reminisce, whether I like to remember all the fantastical details or not!
Unicorns were right up there with my love of posters of kittens hanging from a clothes line with kitchy slogans such as 'hang in there' and the like.
Well folks, hang in there with me, there is much more amusement to be discovered............TTFN

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Wednesday


ahh, hump day. 
I really don't have any why re-invent the wheel ideas to share for this week because I am so unmotivated to do anything even remotely cute at this point in the year.  June can not get here fast enough.  For today I would just like to focus on myself.  I am PigPen.  Except it's not dirt that surrounds me, it's drama.  Trust me I know that I am not the only one who has a lot going on. Listen, I have a great life (I am in no way trying to sound presumptuous, just positive). First and foremost I have a wonderful husband who puts up with my shenanigans on a daily basis.  He also gets an A+ in fatherhood.  I also have 2 beautiful, healthy children.  I have shelter.  I have a new-to-me whip. I have an amazing family support system, i.e. parents and siblings.  I have a job, which is a real luxury for some Americans right now.  That all being said, I just sometimes feel like there is always SOMETHING and I am not even going to list examples because there are too many.  And I know a lot of people who feel that way, so I know I am not the only one.  So anyway, I have penned myself Drama PigPen and I love the little caption that goes with the cartoon above!
Which Peanuts character are you?  I know which one my older sister is.........

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Let Me Lie Down

Best.Book.Ever. 


If you have a nook and want me to lend it to you, hit me up :)

** Just a quick note, there are many, many amazing books out there, and I guess it depends on your preferred genre, but as far as lexicons go, this is it.   It's funny & witty and actually offers me assurance about working (outside of my home) full time.  It's also a quick read, bonus!  
***Many of the terms in this book can be applied to moms who work in their homes too :)

Perfection.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Official




I am joining the bands of suburban moms everywhere.  I am going to drive a station wagon.
Ouch.
Starting tomorrow morning, I will be cruising in a beast pictured similarly to the one above.....But this one is way cooler b/c it has a surfboard (?) on top?  At best, mine will probably have a Yakima Rocketbox affixed to the roof! I'm not going to lie, I actually love it.  I won't feel as tough as I do in my Jeep, but I will have some more luxuries like a sunroof and heated & leather seats.  Score for me.  Keep checking and I'll let you know how my first day in mom-mobiledom goes...........TTFN!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fantastic Find

Yesterday was quite a day!  It was exhausting and majorly annoying all wrapped into one big clusterf#%&.  But the kids and I kept ourselves busy visiting the local target and outdoor shopping venue.  I mean the Old Navy run was a huge bust, but it got us out and about and was overall a pleasant experience.  The best part of my day was finding this little gem at Target.  Why have I never seen this before? I don't think its new, but I haven't checked this section in a few months.  Anyway, I am quite tickled with it and packed it last night for my travels to a distant birthday party this morning.  I have it stacked with baby Goldfish, dried cherries, pretzel sticks, Gerber Grad. Wheels and some kind of pomegranate blueberry fruit bites things I also found at my fave.  I have to say it fed a 4 of my friends children and some other random playground kids.  Oh, and my mom friends :)
Also, if you are still in the formula phase, you can use the sections for 8 oz servings as well. Genius!
Anywho, I love this Munchkin product and highly recommend it..........It's the Little Things........

Saturday, March 19, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

Did you ever feel like everything that is happening around you is so unbelievable that you think you are living in some kind of messed up movie?  That has been my life for the past week.  There are many factors that go into why I feel like I want to crawl into a fox hole and never come out, but mainly because of the invention of the automobile.  Let me break it down into clear concise steps
1. Husband's car breaks down
2. Supportive parents lend a car
3. Purchase replacement car (Monday's post)
4. Attempt to travel to return supportive parents' car (SPC)
5. SPC overheats
6. Drive 3.5 hours alone with children at night, chugging caffeine
7. Leave husband behind to deal with SPC
8. Arrive to empty childhood home
9. Wake up to empty house
10. Realization that the empty house is not going away for 36 more hours
11. Notification that husband may not join b/c SPC may not get work done until Monday
12. Anger and frustration deepen, where is the shovel?
13. Haven't been to the Chiro in weeks and back is quickly retreating
14. Lifting anything including small humans is a major task

I know things could be worse, but sometimes it just feels like 'really? what's next?' 
The 5 o-clock rule will go out the window this afternoon, who ever came up with that stupid rule anyway?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reality Check

I am turning into my mother. Growing up my mom had many a few pet peeves.  Two stand out in my mind, 1. not moving things around when looking for an item (i.e. opening the fridge, looking for something and saying 'i can't find it') and 2. finding empty boxes or items that have run out in the pantry without being notified.  This picture is an example of #2.  Besides my standby collection of gift bags to re-use, this photo captures an absence of the trash bag box.  This really annoys me, and now I know how mommy dearest felt all those years. No wire hangers!  Just kidding :)
If something runs out, let me know so I can replace it, or even better, replace it yourself.  Running out of trash bags is super-inconvenient.  I mean if there are no trash bags, then there is no where to put trash, no?  And I mean if you are going to take the time to remove the empty box, then you know they need to be replaced!  This is not rocket science.
Mom, sorry for all those years of leaving empty boxes of Oatmeal Cream Pies in the pantry.......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Crazy Eddie


His prices are INSANE!  I know, I know, St. Patrick's Day FAIL!  But honestly, I was thinking about this is the shower the other morning and I had it all ready to go for today! Then I realized I should probably do something hokey for this great day, but I am sticking to my guns.  Always go with your first instinct, just like the answering questions on the SAT's, because in my case, instinct was all i had to go on, not academic intelligence.  
Crazy Eddie commercials were always on when I was a kid. If you did not grow up in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut during the 70's and 80's, you probably have no idea what I am referring to.  These stores were only native to the Northeast. 
I particularly recall one of these ads being played in a scene in Splash. Fast forward to 6:19 here to see just what I am talking about for you non-N.Easterners.  
If you don't know what Splash is, then I seriously can't associate with you.  So look it up along with Girls Just Want to Have Fun, then get back to me.  
Crazy Eddie stores are now out of business due to Eddies's fraudulent business practices but are still fun to remember.
Not only did you get a throwback to Crazy Eddie in this post, but 2 equally as memorable 80's movies that rock.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Re-Invent the Wheel: Popsicle Saver

I have no idea where I saw this idea but I am so glad I remembered it when I did!  While grocery shopping the other night, I decided I needed to have Klondike Ice Cream bars.  Of course I shared with my little boy, who has definitely inherited my sweet tooth.  He sweetly asked me, 'Mommy, can I eat it on the couch?'  Now, normally I would balk at such a suggestion, but this kid has got my number AND I am so exhausted at this point after a full day of work and then the evening routine, and THEN a trip to the grocery store that I just don't have the energy for his negotiations.  This magical idea popped into my head and it worked gloriously!  No worrying about drippings on the couch and no tantrums and/or endless persisting from 4 year old.  It's a win-win.  Why re-invent the wheel?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bossy Boiler

My ever correct older sister pointed out the Into the Mystic is not an Allman's song, and right she is!  She reminded me that it's a Van Morrison song....However, I prefer the Warren Haynes version...

take that!

Bienvenue au printemps!



Well not quite yet, but only a few more days!  There is nothing more I love than getting outside with my family, opening the windows to let the fresh air in, and enjoying a crisp glass of wine on the patio on a warm evening.   I spent a lot of time this weekend getting my 'garden' ready for the new green sprouts to make their way into the world.  This is something you may not know about me, but I tend to my plants almost constantly starting this time of year.  I love to stand outside in the warm evening and water them, pretending like I actually know what I am doing.  I also encourage my son to help me in the garden so he can appreciate the life cycle of plants and caring for personal belongings (responsibility, see Heigh Ho Heigh Ho).

When my grandmother moved from her home in Havertown, PA to an apartment in Wayne, she gave my parents some of her irises.  Some were then given to me when we bought our house and I now have numerous plants that bloom, gorgeous purple flowers every spring.   So it means a lot to me to take care of them.  When we move from our current home, I plan to take a few with me and keep the traditional alive.  I also love my hydrangea plants that were given to me on mother's day two years on a a row.  They will be going with me as well!

At every change of the season I like to look around for home decor to match.  I mean I don't go crazy and buy matching throw pillows and hand towels, however I do pick up little pieces, like the one picture above, to place sparingly around the house.  This is one I just found at my local Home Goods, which I check our regularly for just about anything to decorate my house.  I love this piece because it is a bit primitive being that is is a sampler (a handstitched piece of embroidery used to demonstrate skill in needlework), but the robin egg blue frame brightens up the traditional brown or black.  I also have a hard time finding Spring decor that is not 'Eastery,' and there are no bunnies or easter eggs in sight on this one!  The ribbon flowers and pearl and button centers are so perfect; a big warm welcome to Spring...............



Monday, March 14, 2011

Music My Friends Don't Know I Listen To

First and foremost the name of the post comes from a music folder with the same title that I found on my brother's computer (I won't mention any names).  In this folder I found Britney Spear's Overprotected and my world was complete.
I totally forgot that I had made this playlist on Facebook forever ago! UNTIL, while riding in the car with my sister, I asked her to stop scanning when Pearl Jam Radio came up.  She was shocked that I would say such a thing.  I actually DO like music other than Top 40 and 90's Teeny Bopper hits.  To prove my point here is the playlist I made about 2 years ago:

Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn


Now, there are definitely a few you would have guessed, but Old Crow Medicine Show and Jim Croce? You had no idea..........

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Booster

Yes, there is such a thing, and it's pretty & smells great.  I have recently found Physcian's Formula Happy Booster™ Glow & Mood Boosting Blush.  And you know who up there knows I need it! Infused with plant extracts they claim these products mimick the effect of endorphins, making you feel happier and more joyful.

Hmmm.  Plants, happier, sillier, joyful, mimicking endorphins?  I can think of other things that fit this description.

I discovered this product back in January while poring over one of the professional journals magazines, I read whenever I get a chance (this means when I actually stay awake after 8:30 pm).  I literally stalked my local, Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, and Wegmans to see if they started carrying it.  I finally found it at Rite Aid while visiting my hometown one weekend.  I immediately drove home (my parent's house will ALWAYS be casa numero uno) and powdered my whole body.  Just kidding, but maybe I should try that.  I really did try it right away, and while I can't really say that it made me chipper (that is extremely difficult) it did make me happy to have a new make-up item. Maybe I need to layer with pressed powder?  I wonder if some mornings I walk out of the house looking like a rouged up 90 year old.............?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho

It's off to work THEY go. BTW, who knew it was 'heigh' and not 'hi'?  Weekends are great times to catch up on chores, especially when evenings are the only time you have to do them, and that is not an option b/c you are dead tired and really need to be spending time with your children and/or significant other.  Also, let's be real, chores suck and I have waited 4 years to delegate.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that I can ask my son to go and feed the cat nowadays.  As I am learning, my son loves to "help" me with everything!  I welcome the help for some things and definitely not others.  Here is a list of chores I find appropriate for a 4 year old:
1.  Feeding animals (if you have a dog is not protective over his/her food)
2.  Putting dirty clothes in the hamper (that word is really old-fashioned don't you think?)
3.  Sorting laundry
4.  Dustbusting
5.  'Washing' dishes in the sink (of course you have to re-wash but they think its great fun)
6.  Cleaning up toys
7.  Neighborhood litter clean up (Mine has this 'Grabber' to use so he does not have to get his hands dirty)
8.  Putting items in the recycling bin
9.  Putting sippy cups in the refrigerator
10. Help put groceries away

There are many things I DO NOT  want help with(i.e. anything that involves open liquid containers or permanent ink), but I am trying to keep this positive, so use your own judgement in order to preserve your sanity.

Do you Cha-Cha?



If you don't then you are missing out on instant access to loads of free information.  Don't worry you don't have to know how to dance.  How did I find out about this little gem? Well I was out shopping for the holidays, I was at a store looking at zodiac necklaces.  I was v. annoyed with the store because they did not have an accompanying chart that listed corresponding birthdays and signs.  The salesgirl that I flagged down was a cute little teenager didn't know either, and she asked me if I ever used Cha Cha?  Not that I recalled. Which really isn't surprising because there have been many nights from my past that I don't recall a darn thing. Basically she told me to text 242 242 and ask type my question. I decided to humor this little teeny bopper while she tickled my baby's toes.  

Um, did you use hand sanitizer before touching her?  

Lo & Behold I got answer!  Fabulous.  She also confessed testing Cha Cha from class for answers.  Where the hell was this when I was in high school and/or college?  I could have really used it in my statistic class.  Stat is so over my head, it's not even remotely funny; it's kind of embarrassing.    
Since then I have saved Cha Cha as a contact and had used it NUMEROUS times with 100% success.  I have 'Cha Cha'd' phone numbers, store locations and song lyrics to name a few.  Try it and get back to me!  It's awesome and if you don't yet Cha Cha, now is the time to start.  

P.S. As I am perusing Cha Cha for this post I stumble upon call out for Brainiacs.  Hello?  Now is my chance to get my foot in the door to my internet concierge (see Urban Dictionary) business!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lakeshore Learning


Looking for something to do tomorrow morning?  I totally forgot about this amazing program held at a Lakeshore store near you.  If you don't have one nearby, sorry :(  But feel free to visit me and I'll take you!  A friend reminded me a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to go yet, but I look forward to it.  My son is the perfect age for this.  The Lakeshore Free Crafts for Kids are weekly (or weekendly) and really adorable.  My mommy friend went for Valentine's Day and enjoyed herself thoroughly.  The store is also uber amazing. Their products, while a bit pricey, are good quality and oh so much fun. I know there are a few of you who loved to play teacher as a kid, so go to Lakeshore and play to your heart's delight!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Give a Hoot

Apologies for the low quality pic but I could not find any others (it says "I give a hoot!").  I have been waiting for about a year to get this shirt handed down to me from my sister.  I absolutely love it.  Actually, one of my students had it last year and I would tell her every time she wore it how much i loved it!  Then low and behold one day, my niece had it on in a picture! Score!  Then when my sister had a boy back in June, I began to plot when I would get this hand me down.  Well, its here and my daughter has worn it with pride (my own pride that is).  
If you haven't figured it out by now, today's throwback is to Woodsy Owl of Woodsy Owl Public Service Announcement (s). I'm pretty sure Woodsy and Winnie the Pooh are the same voice, right?

Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Re-Invent the Wheel

For Wednesday posts, I will tap into my bag of teaching ideas.  These ideas can be used in the school setting or at home.  Some I have thought of myself and some I have borrowed from others.  I have used them in my classroom and am sharing them with you to use, hence the title, Why Re-Invent the Wheel.  Over my past 11 years of teaching (ouch!) I have perfected being an underachiever and I am not ashamed.

This week we are talking about Fairy Tales.  Everyone loves a good Fairy Tale and almost everyone knows the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  This is the version I read today.  There are MANY versions!  We did a simple sort/size activity following the read aloud as follows:
Biggest to Smallest
Draw pictures of three bears using a stencil, going from biggest to smallest. Copy the pictures so that there are enough for each of the students in your group. If you don't have a stencil, simply draw different size bears.  Let them decorate each bear, and discuss the differences between them.Cut out the bears and place one set of bears on a surface everyone can see and label them “Small,” “Bigger,” and “Biggest.” Take three similar toys of different sizes, such as blocks or cars, and have students sort them beneath the picture appropriately.
You can take this one step further (to keep in a portfolio) and glue the bears on a large piece of construction paper in order from biggest to smallest.  Label the picture, "The Three Bears" and call it a day :).  

I like this activity because it uses other items to help children generalize the skill of sorting and awareness of size.  I also like the artistic element that children can create their own interpretations of Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear.    
*If you plan to complete this activity in one sitting allot at least 30 minutes, including reading the story.  

Caught in the Act


It's truly amazing how quickly they learn where the goods are................

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Midgetville


One night a few months ago, I was hanging out with my husband and a few of his friends in our basement, getting ready to watch a fight on the telly.  It is a bit hazy, but somehow the topic of Midgetville came up.  It's really quite foggy (most likely due to the mass consumption of my favorite libation of the moment, Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc) how this topic came up.  Possibly because my husband's office is based out of Vienna.  Apparently this is was a well known 'tourist attraction,' and common knowledge to native Northern Virginians, but it was news to me.  And very curious news.  I had to know more and would like to share with you what I found, in case you care and like weird trivia as well.
According to the Wikipedia:Fairfax County, Virginia
The "Midgetville" in Vienna, Virginia was a collection of six small cottages that were torn down in 2008. In 1882 the site was a small summertime resort that people visited when they wanted to escape the stressful lifestyle of Washington, D.C. In 1892 the area was purchased by Alexander Wedderburn. In 1901 the hotel burned to the ground, but a normal-sized two-story building was built around the same time at the corner of the property. In 1930, one of Alexander Wedderburn's sons, George, built six small Spanish-style cottages. A courtyard in the middle of the property was sometimes used as a fairground or a farmers' market. The Wedderburns briefly established the Wedderburn Music School on the site. The cottages were rented out but the place eventually became overgrown with ivy and trees.[1] In 2002 the family signed a deal with contractors to tear the place down and develop the property.[2] Though the proposal created some controversy, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the project.[3] The cottages were all destroyed and the trees were removed in early 2008 to make way for "Wedderburn Estates." Contrary to local legend there were never any midgets that lived there.
I particularly liked this ditty about Bailey's Crossroads:  
Urban Legend has it that the houses were built for the little people performing in the Barnum & Bailey circus. (Bailey, of Bailey's Crossroads fame, supposedly built the houses)
Most of what I found in addition to the Wiki was more of the same.  A collection of little buildings that are no longer there and did not house 'little people.'  Much to my dismay I did not find anything that led me to believe I could drive in under 30 minutes to Munchkinland.  Darn! I would really have loved to get my hands on those Lollipop Guild nuggets.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Silly Willies


Get your mind out of the gutter! Or am I the only one who thinks of inappropriate things when I hear the word willy?  How can I not after actually going to see the Puppetry of the Penis show back in Fall of 2004 (?) at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre.  I can't remember the exactly, but I DO remember the show.
Getting back to the subject, today in school we had a few moments before lunch where I had nothing planned (shocking) so we explored this CD, which has one of our favorite movement songs, The Mack Chicken Dance is awesome (song list and music samples). It's a medley of the Chicken Dance, Its Bitsy Spider (not eensy weensy, which I don't understand why people say that and find it infuriating) and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.  We found that we also now love Silly Willies!  Great beat and fun moves for the littles.

Is it me or are these guys (or at least their pose) a little reminiscent of the Ambiguously Gay Duo on SNL??

*Remember children ages 2-5 benefit from 1.5-2 hours of DAILY physical activity!  If you would like more information and/or ideas for implementing structured physical activities into your daily routine, feel free to contact me via email.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sassy Recall



Sassy "Refreshing Rings" rattle/teether
Reason for Recall: Black soft plastic pieces may separate from some of the black and white polka-dot ball when chewed or pulled at, and these small components could pose a choking hazard if ingested by an infant or small child.


We have had this teether for our one year old daughter until I received notification that is was being recalled.  I submitted the  Online return request form and received my prepaid envelope yesterday.  You are able to pick from two replacement toys: Electronic Keys or Phone of My Own.  I chose the latter.  I probably submitted my request a few weeks ago and I am rather impressed that they sent this out so quickly.  I am eager to receive my daughter's new toy.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Filter



When you are pregnant, every baby book has a section about child care.  It's a tough decision and many factors are weighed.  This can be an extremely controversial topic, so this is not meant to offend anyone.  Sooooo, I was at a birthday party today and spoke with a girl who I used to work with.  She has two children as well, her son just born in July.  When it came to the topic  of working, she shook her head when the topic of returning to work came up.  I'll cut to the point, she said, " I didn't have kids so someone else could raise them." Well guess what honey, I didn't either, but shit happens.  I really don't feel like going on a lengthy tirade (I do, but I won't) but just because I work and other people raise CARE FOR my children doesn't make me a bad person and/or mom.  In addition, I couldn't disagree more.  My husband and I raise our children, regardless of who is caring for them during working hours.  Now maybe I am reading into this and am sensitive about the fact that I work full time, but come on people times are tough and mortgages need to be paid and my daughter eats more than an adult orca!!!  However, whether you are in a position where you want to work but don't have to, don't want to work and don't have to, or don't want to work but have to, it's a personal decision and you do what is best for your family. So please, next time you are in the company of a woman who is not in your position (and by position I mean caring for your children full time or not), apply a verbal filter and have a swell day. 


Amazon Mom


No, I am not talking about the huge women.  What I am talking about is Amazon Mom.  I am an avid user of Amazon.com for many, many things.  I have even ordered nail polish.  Great color too!  Amazon's new feature site, tailored to you and your gaggle of munchkins.  I just joined and am anxious to see how well they deliver.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Secret Weapon



Nothing says 'Snooze" like  JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder.  There are many mornings when I just can not muster up the gusto to hop in the shower and go through my routine of 'getting ready,' and I'm not going to lie, it's more often than I care to admit.  For those mornings, I use my secret weapon.  I know it's not a novel idea, but I am sharing because it really does work.  I will say I have a bit of an advantage being a blonde.  So it doesn't show up as much.  There are many, many products that absorb oil, however there are times where I just don't want to pay $15 bucks (or more!) for dry shampoo when I can shell out only $4.29 for an old fashioned classic. So, whether you are a working mom inside your home or out (meaning taking care of you own kids full time is also work!) try a little Johnson's next time you want to catch a few extra Z's.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Guilt Factor

Times I feel like a crappy mom: Right now. 
My 4 year old son is a certified hoarder. He takes my personal belongings on a regular basis.  Personal belongings include chapstick, eye cream, candles, pillows from my bed, and various other random items.  Naturally, when I realized that my glasses were missing I went straight to him and demanded to know where he had stashed them.  I have been searching every hiding spot (b/c although he is smart, I am smarter and know all of them) like a lunatic, to no avail.  All I remember is that I last saw them on the kitchen table.  I realized today that I was using them while reading on my school issued laptop.  THEN I realized that I must have put them in my laptop case when I took it back to school!  It was a glorious revelation.  I actually made my son go with me to school (after contract hours? Gasp!) and check my laptop case because I typically do not bring it home with me.  Alas, there they was!  Getting to the point, I feel awful that I have been hounding him for weeks and making him feel bad, when he actually had nothing to do with it.  What is a mother to think when every time she turns around something is missing, i.e. deep pore cleansing mask??.  However, I am pretty sure this won't be the last time, and it happens to everyone............right?  


P.S. This it totally Karma.....and it is a bitch

Singing in the Rain


I think I found it!  I like this jacket for the upcoming spring weather.  I was looking for something in between casual and dressed up for work (please remember I am a preschool teacher!)  I was looking for something hooded due to Spring showers, and I like that the hood is removable.  I also like the light grey color.  It's slightly different than my usual choice of Black, Navy, Heather Grey or White.  But G-d forbid I venture into anything bright and cheerful like Red.  I am hoping it fits, ordering online can be such a risk. And I have never owned a piece of Hurley anything in my life.  They may tailor their clothes more towards young skate Bettys, with boyish shapes, and not mature career women like myself.  Now, if I could just get that tan along with it...................
now this is the way i like to start my day!

Urban Dictionary

This post is already not going as I had planned. 1. I am searching for an image of Pee Wee Herman as the desk clerk at then end of Pee Wee's Big Adventure (can't find one). 2. I am looking at the definition of people pleaser in the urban dictionary and I find the text below.   This does not describe me, well maybe the part about being perfect and nice.  Why am I doing this you ask?  Well, I love to help people. So I am putting myself out there to let you know that I love to look things up and find things on the web.  Some of you already know this!  I am talking kids toys, books, clothes, beauty products, what have you.  I  welcome emails and comments asking me to assist in searching for necessary goods.  People pleaser, no.  Internet concierge, I might just be! 


1.people pleaser33 up5 down
A relatively new word in the psychology world, it's not in the DSM-IV-TR (a book that a couselor would use for a diagnosis). People pleasers aredoormats who let high expectations, resentment, and saying yes when they mean no run their lives. They are set on being perfect and nice. It affects mostly women because they are socialized to do for other people instead of for themselves. This has also been linked to codependence.












Throwback Thursday

I am thinking I want to dedicate Thursday's to throwbacks.  I do not plan on limiting where I pull these from and suggestions are always welcome.  If anybody knows me (and my family) we love to reminisce.  That is what Thursdays will be for.  Music, toys, vacations, food (think Bonkers), shows, etc....The possibilities are endless.  I do plan to keep this blog upbeat and positive, but I must dedicate this throwback to my first baby.  I feel so lost and empty without her.  I never thought having, or losing, a pet would have this much of an impact on me, though I dreaded the day anytime I thought about it.  I miss my protector, my companion, my nonjudgmental listener, my friend who would do anything I wanted her to (with some coaxing at times. like the time she found an old corncob on the street and it took me 10 minutes to get her to 'Drop it').  She would be lazy with me if i wanted or active.  She never begged to be taken out and she never begged to be fed.  I miss my warm friend who stole Jeff's place on the bed at any chance she got.  I miss my children's constant playdate. I miss smelling her paws (sorry). I miss leaving the door unlocked when going to the playground. I miss feeling safe in my car when traveling and I miss feeling safe in my house when Jeff is away.  I miss being greeted everyday (or almost b/c often she was too lazy to even come down to say hello!)  She was better than anything I could have imagined when taking on the task of raising a dog and I miss miss miss her dearly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Initiative

This past fall I had a REALLY hard time at work and home.  I'm sorry but it takes a specific skill set to be able to balance working full time and motherhood AND being a good wife.  Actually, I'm not sorry.  I decided I needed to surround myself with moms like me.  So I took the initiative to set up a Facebook playgroup page for working moms.  It's really fun to get together with a set of women who 'get it' on a regular basis.  Not weekly or monthly, but whenever we can fit it into our hectic schedules.  It's nice to sit around and not just talk about our kids, but other things we have in common.  I am proud to say that it has been rather successful and I feel that I have made some great friendships.  I would 100% recommend doing this to anyone who feels like they are struggling to balance these two difficult jobs.  You CAN do it! (ugh, cliche!)


New Shoes


After a v. unsuccessful trip to the mall last night, I decided that someone needed to make out.  Emmie's new Fly Shoes...........

Unsuccessful = not able to return the Wonderfile due to crap return policy at the As Seen on T.V. store; not able to return wallet to Fossil store b/c husband removed gift receipt without my knowledge (i.e. I looked really stupid when she asked for my receipt and i did not have it ); tried on a cute Spring coat which i have researched for hours, only to find that H&M's sizes suck. A size 6 was squeezing my upper arms and I could not even button it across my unbuxom bossom; and last, my husband asked me to get him a few shirts for work with an American Eagle gift card, and not only did i only get one shirt, but i paid past the gift card balance for it.  That is an unsuccessful mall trip.  But at least my little munchkin girl has some fabulous footwear.